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EDITORIAL: Empowering the healthcare drive

IN a resounding call to action, the Bicol Center for Health Development under the Department of Health (DOH), has embarked on an ambitious campaign to promote key government health policies. These policies encompass crucial areas such as mental health, expanded newborn screening, food safety, and flu vaccinations for senior citizens.

The concerted effort was unveiled during an open forum held on Friday (October 6) as the Center appealed to local newsmen for support in advancing their healthcare programs.

While all four areas of concern are significant, it is the issue of mental health that has captured our attention, owing to the alarming rise in cases of depression among today’s youth.

Windalyn Baluis, a Nurse V, and member of the non-communicable disease prevention and control cluster of the DOH in the Bicol Region, issued a stark warning. She emphasized that the causes of depression are multifaceted, stemming from economic hardship, the loss of loved ones, heartbreak, and the frustration of grappling with life’s challenges.

Dr. Rey J. Millena, a Medical Specialist IV and the Provincial DOH Officer, underscored the pivotal role that local government units (LGUs) play in the effective implementation of these health policies and programs.

LGUs, he stressed, possess an intimate knowledge of their constituents, enabling them to pass and endorse ordinances that fortify the implementation of these health policies. Moreover, they have the capacity to execute activities that support these policies and generate vital data to identify beneficiaries within their communities.

Dr. Millena emphasized that the active engagement of LGUs is not only in line with the essence of the Local Government Code but has been fortified by the Universal Health Care initiative.

This bold campaign by the Bicol Center for Health Development is not merely an appeal for support but a rallying cry for collective responsibility.

Mental health, among other pressing concerns, cannot be overlooked. The surge in depression cases, particularly among the youth, is a grave issue that demands our immediate attention and commitment.

By addressing these challenges head-on and by actively engaging with local governments, the DOH aims to create a healthier, happier, and more resilient society for all. In these endeavors, we find the seeds of a brighter and healthier future for the Bicolanos. (JBN)


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